9/11 Families Fume Over Visitor Fees at NYC Memorial

'Money is the bottom line here,' says victim's mother

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 14, 2013 3:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Anyone planning a trip to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City will have to pay $2 per advance ticket—and victims' families are none too happy about it, the New York Post reports. "I don’t want the American public to have to pay a dime to pay respects to my son," says the mother of a firefighter who died in the attacks. "They made ... a vow that no one would ever be charged for going to the memorial, but money is the bottom line here." The father of another lost firefighter likened it to charging money "to get into a cemetery."

The memorial's website says the fees are needed to "safely manage visitor capacity," and claims the nonprofit receives no federal, state, or city funding. Yet the memorial has hauled in hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded grants and private donations in recent years—and dished out six-figure salaries to some employees. Meanwhile, it faces construction costs now pegged at $700 million. Something's gotta give—probably visitors, who may have to pay $20 to visit the underground museum when it's finished.

A visitor reaches out to touch names engraved in memory during a visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 in New York.
A visitor reaches out to touch names engraved in memory during a visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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